SRA warns of illicit money flow
WHILST the importing and exporting of goods encourages robust growth of the economy, it is also important that country is careful of illicit money flows that might come from multinational companies.
“The country gets 50 per cent of its revenue from Southern African Customs Union (SACU) pool and the agreements signed by the country with other trading bodies have to be looked into. “The following trade agreements to which the country is party allow for movement of goods under preference SADC Trade Protocol, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Trade Protocol, European Union-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement, SACU- EFTA, and SACU- MERCOSUR.
These agreements put us in good position as goods admitted under preference into export market. Competitiveness flowing from reduced or non-payment of duties upon entry into the export market,” said SRA Commissioner General Dumsani Masilela.
He said it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to ensure that all processes that entail paying of tax are carefully scrutinised. This is apart from the fact that there are clearing agents that deal with the necessary paperwork. “Importers, exporters, and manufacturers are liable for acts done by a clearing agent on their behalf.
An agent is fully empowered to fulfil importer’s obligations, including payment of tax or penalties. Importers and agents are jointly and severally liable in terms of Section 43 of the Customs Act,” he said.
Masilela highlighted that SRA permits VAT exemption on certain imports in the country but it is granted only in respect of the following goods (VAT Regulation 23):
Importations by international organisations, goods for disabled persons or for the upliftment of indigent persons, goods imported under any technical assistance agreement (government to government or international organisations’) and goods temporarily admitted for processing, repair, cleaning or reconditioning.
“Temporary admission is a customs procedure that allows goods imported into the country to be used for an authorised specific purpose and for a specific period, on condition that the goods are exported from the country within the period without having undergone any change except for maintenance and normal wear and tear due to the use made of the goods whilst in the country,” he said.
According to Masilela, the following goods are allowed for specified purposes in terms of Schedule 4: Containers and articles used as packaging, private motor vehicles belonging to persons taking up temporary residence (six months) or foreign tourists. Models and prototypes to be used in the manufacture of goods, instruments, apparatus and machines, made available free of charge to a customer by or through a supplier, pending delivery or repair of similar goods.
Machinery or plant leased for use on contract in civil engineering or construction work and goods imported for any other purpose approved by the commissioner general.
FIRM AND CLEAR: Swaziland Revenue Authority Commissioner General Dumisani Masilela.